Reopening Our Writing Houses 2021 and Covid 19
The following questions outline our plans in response to COVID 19, in regard to reopening our writing houses for residential courses from July 2021 onwards. These measures will be reviewed regularly and will be adjusted in line with current government advice.
Capacity of the Houses
When we reopen for residential courses from July 2021 onwards, until further notice, we will be operating at a reduced capacity as follows:
• The Hurst will have a maximum of 13 writers, plus tutors.
• Lumb Bank will have a maximum of 11 writers, plus tutors.
• Totleigh Barton will have a maximum of 9 writers, plus tutors.
All the bedrooms are single occupancy.
We are changing the way bathrooms are allocated at our houses, to ensure the facilities are not shared with multiple guests. The allocations vary at the houses, and are as follows:
• The Hurst is all en-suite bathrooms, with no shared bathroom facilities.
• Lumb Bank will have 3 en-suite private bathrooms, and 8 writers will share bathrooms at the ratio of 1 bathroom to 2 writers.
• Totleigh Barton has one en-suite accessible bedroom, and 8 writers will share bathrooms at the ratio of 1 bathroom to 2 writers.
Cooking and eating together is an essential part of an Arvon week and we will be returning to our traditional catering arrangements when we reopen.
You will help yourself to breakfast in the shared kitchen. Lunch will be prepared by Arvon staff, who will also cook an evening meal for the group on the Monday night.
You will cook one evening meal with a small group of fellow writers, and you will also be responsible for some clearing up after meals. We have invested in commercial dishwashers in each of our houses to increase hygiene standards.
These duties are confined to a few hours in total, so the rest of the week is left free for writing. Please do not be nervous about cooking for the group. You will cook in a small team and receive lots of support from centre staff.
We will closely monitor government guidelines and adjust our arrangements if necessary, as advice changes.
Following the current government roadmap out of lockdown, we plan to have the following precautionary measures in place, to protect writers and staff when we reopen in mid-July:
• We will be operating with reduced numbers to allow for increased social distancing.
• Bathrooms will be allocated and shared with a maximum of one other guest.
• The houses will be thoroughly ventilated.
• We will be making more use of our outdoor spaces whenever possible, as the weather allows. Each house will have a gazebo for use as appropriate.
• We will ask you to continue to observe a high level of hand hygiene, with handwashing facilities and gels at each building entry point.
• We will be carrying out increased surface cleaning in the communal spaces.
• We may operate with maximum room capacities or one-way systems in place within our buildings.
• We will check the temperature of all guests arriving on site and will then ask for further daily temperature checks.
• Our staff will be carrying out lateral flow tests on a weekly basis.
Vaccines and Test Results
We have no plans to ask writers to prove their vaccine status or recent Covid test results. We will review this if there are any changes to the test and trace system, or relevant legislation, in the future.
What to do if you develop symptoms prior to arrival
If you have developed any symptoms of Covid 19, the most common of which include a raised temperature, a sore throat, difficulty with breathing, a continuous cough or a loss of taste and smell, during the 14 days prior to your arrival, you must have a negative PCR test before travelling to Arvon. If there is not enough time to undertake a PCR test and receive your results, you must contact us to cancel or postpone your visit. In such cases you will be entitled to a full refund of any fees which you have paid.
If you develop symptoms while staying with us
If you develop symptoms, or potential symptoms, of Covid 19 during your stay, you must inform Arvon staff as soon as possible, immediately self-isolate within your accommodation, and request a Covid 19 test from NHS Test and Trace. If you are well enough to travel you should return home if you reasonably can, using private transport but only driving yourself if you can do so safely. If you cannot reasonably return home, you must continue to self-isolate in your accommodation until you are well enough to do so. Members of Arvon staff will provide you with food during this period. In these circumstances, you may also order delivery of a home test kit to the Arvon property where you are staying. If your test is positive you must return home as soon as possible and follow Government guidelines for self-isolation. Arvon reserves the right to request reasonable additional fees for accommodation, meals and cleaning where you have to remain at the property beyond the scheduled departure date of the retreat due to confirmed or suspected Covid 19. If your test is negative you may stay at the property until the scheduled departure time.
If another person on the retreat tests positive for Covid 19 during their stay, we reserve the right to ask you to leave immediately and follow government guidelines for self-isolation.
If you have to leave the retreat as a result of symptoms or possible symptoms, or as a result of other people on the retreat with symptoms or possible symptoms, we will offer you a pro-rata refund of fees paid.
Please note that we are not, under any circumstances, able to reimburse travel or other costs which you may have incurred in connection with your booking, and in the event of cancellation by you or by us, our liability to you will be limited to fees you have paid to Arvon.